Cop Accidentally Shoots 21 Year Old Rider

Minnesota: A cop accidently shoots a rider after pulling him over.

Next time you feel like a night time ride around the twisties, make sure you’re not being followed by this cop. Or you might get shot by accident. If you watch the footage and listen carefully, you’ll know that we mean “accident” when we say “accident,” because it really was – but that doesn’t make the pain any easier to swallow for 21 year old motorcyclist Matthew Hovland-Knase from Eden Prairie.


But before you watch the video, if you’re expecting a high-speed chase with dangerous maneuvers and nail biting tension, you’re going to be disappointed. What really happens is this: Hovland-Knase is riding around in violation of the local laws, no contest there, and when the police cruiser hails him and warns him to pull over, he obliges. What happens next is the real worry though.

Cop Shoots Rider: The Video

The cop, Sgt. Lonnie Soppeland, gets out of the car with his gun drawn and goes through the usual “Get your hands where I can see them,” routine but accidentally fires off two rounds, shooting the young rider in the arm with one of the bullets. This was not part of the officer’s plans… In a follow up investigation, Soppeland defended his actions by claiming it was mere “muscle memory,” probably from a recent firearms training course, that caused him to pull the trigger. Under normal circumstances, you’d think that was nonsense but after watching the video to the end, you’ll see that the cop was truly apologetic, and brings first aid, calls an ambulance and support to deal with his actions. Does it excuse him? Not at all. But can we chalk this up as an accident rather than police brutality? I think so. Thanks god his aim was off though…

Sgt. Soppeland didn’t receive any disciplinary action and returned to active service, whereas Hovland-Knase was sentenced to five days of community service and fifteen days house arrest. The big question is this: why did the cop get out of the car with an un-holstered gun with his finger on the trigger, when there was no visible threat?

To be fair to the cop, he was apologetic, owned up to the incident and regretted it. And with the rising amount of anti-police sentiment, let’s not forget that the good cops outweigh the bad. Or maybe that’s just my opinion…

Categories: Motorcycles

Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…